Save Queensland local government!

An entirely unsubstantiated slew of Local Government amalgamations have just been announced by the Queensland Beattie Labour Government. The ruling majority in our
State Parliament intend to enact these changes without any effective consultation or transparent evaluation.

This has occurred after:

  • Abandonment of a formal, transparent, criteria based evaluation process regarding the need and options for amalgamation.
  • Initiation of an undisclosed and unaccountable process to determine and decree the 'necessary' changes.
  • Process discharged by a select panel of commissioners with very direct links to the Urban development industry.
  • Summary annulment of a section of the Local Govt. Act requiring public referendum upon any proposed Local Government amalgamation.

These changes are not based in fact or need. They are part of a disturbing and rapidly accelerating process of disempowering local communities from being an effective part of the planing process.

Please help to save the rights of local residents to have a say in their council and their local future.

Please respond to : commonsense |AT| to register your interest in being a part of a campaign enacted over the short term to preserve the integrity of local Government.
Our capacity to decide upon our own local future depends upon it.

Musing on the Monarchy

A small public garden at Healesville in Victoria has a plaque stating that the garden was planted in 1953 in commemoration of the coronation of Queen Victoria II. She was crowned in 1952, almost 65 years ago. For such a long time has she reigned; few regents could boast 65 years in office. And it is over us, Australians, that she reigns; quietly, discretely, non-politically - in the background. But will it always be so? Prince Charles has shown a disposition to make comments on political matters. Will he continue the monarchy in the same silent manner? Surely his time must come soon – no one lives forever. What will happen then? What could happen then?

To Australians it seems strange to have a foreign monarch – it is seen as a quirk of history – an irrelevance. But it was due to the delegated power of the Crown that a sitting Prime Minister was removed from office. And the laws passed by Australian parliaments are not binding until signed by our Monarch, or in her place, one of her representives as Governor or Governor General. When we go walking in state forests, we are walking on Crown land – the term appears through all our land titles and many public places – think of it, Crown land, the Queen’s land, perhaps soon the King’s land?

What if our future King decided not to sign certain laws – ones he disagreed with. What sort of crisis would it create? What if he took a dislike to an Australian government, or an Australian Prime Minister – could he prevent them taking office? Could he remove them from office if he chose? Or could he simply hold the parliament hostage by refusing to sign any Australian acts into law?

Perhaps some see such a Monarch as desirable? Many see our politicians and governments as either self-serving or serving vested interests. Perhaps some may see a remote monarch as offering blessed relief – someone removed from local corruptions and from local populism – someone in a position to make decisions entirely impartially. Potentially such a person – if wise – could make very wise decisions. But if true, what an indictment that would be of us in our uncivilised colonial outpost. After decades of effective independence from a Monarch is our achievement to show our ineptitude to rule ourselves? Have we become an example of how badly a democratic government can act as custodian of a potentially prosperous and beautiful nation? A democratic system that currently is overseeing the destruction of the largest living thing on earth –

Perhaps some reject the notion that Australia could benefit from a foreign ruler selectively approving or rejecting Australian laws based on his judgement as to whether they are wise or not. Perhaps they might prefer that he simply use his veto power to hold Australian parliaments hostage to a commitment to create a new Australian constitution? A constitution that removes the potential for corruption from political donations? A constitution that empowers citizens and de-powers the state? One that allows citizen initiated referendums for example?

Either way, we may as a nation soon be faced with the possibility that our foreign regent may be our only hope for deliverance from a failing democratic system – one way or another. If so what a sad state that we have so demonstrated our immaturity as a nation.

Prime Minister issues apology for wildlife holocaust

(Photo of the last wolf in Newfoundland from

Crystal ball

As the fog clears from my crystal ball I can see a press conference convened by the then Prime Minister of Canada in 2040, Mr. Jagrup Singh, as he takes the mike to issue an apology on behalf of 55 million Canadians and the federal governments of the previous five decades. It is an apology to the extinct wildlife of Canada that the mass immigration policies favoured by all political parties extinguished, policies kick-started by the Brian Mulroney government and most particularly by Immigration Minister Barbara MacDougall in the early 1990s. In retrospect, the one percent per year immigration growth target proved to be the death knell for farmland, wetlands and wildlife habitat in Canada.

Compromising Enviro NGOs to blame

Prime Minister Singh explained that the massacre occurred because governments of the day took the advice of environmental NGOs like the Sierra Club and the David Suzuki Foundation who advised them that “smart growth” strategies, that is, land use planning, would defend wildlife and farmland from any ecological consequences resulting from runaway population growth and economic development. We could invite the world here and have our cake and eat it too.

In fact, the most famous Canadian intellectual of the time, Dr.William Rees, was quoted as saying that there was “no necessary connection between immigration and biodiversity loss” and if immigrants were settled in dense urban zones strictly defined by planning boundaries then “Greenfield” acreages “would never be compromised.”

We cannot have our cake and eat it too

But Dr. Rees was proven wrong. We couldn’t have our cake and it eat it too. Not even at the beginning of the millennium. Smart growth was a failure from the start. Portland, Oregon was to be its poster child. Instead it was a showcase of its limitations. When the sheep-pen is bursting with people, the wolves are waiting in the wings to extend the urban boundaries and develop the surrounding greenbelts. And those who live in dense neighbourhoods have a footprint that reaches out to impact wildlife living in the hinterland. The residents of highrises consume more than twice the energy of rural residents. Ultimately it is not where Canadians live, but how many of them there are, that proves decisive for the environment. That was the autopsy report for Canada’s wildlife.

Too late

Prime Minister Singh’s apology followed a long Canadian tradition of mea culpas. First it was to the Japanese Canadians for their internment during the War. An apology plus cash. Then the Chinese Canadians got an apology plus cash for the Head Tax. The Liberal government of 2005 gave 2.5 million dollars to Italian Canadians who were negatively impacted by the War Measures Act during the Second World War. And then Ottawa apologized for the Komagata Maru incident. Then there was an apology for the treatment of First Nations children in residential schools. Finally in the year 2020 the Ukrainian Canadian community received an apology for the disgraceful internment of 5000 Canadians of Ukrainian descent during and after the First World War.

Now in 2040 Canada’s wildlife get an apology too. Posthumously.

Who is going to give us a posthumous apology, when we are the authors of our fate?

Recently extinguished species in Canada
(Source: )

Sea-mink Extinguished by fur-trappers from

"According to the Species at Risk Act, the following animals are extinct.


* Dawson Caribou, Rangifer tarandus dawsoni, 1984
* Sea Mink, Mustela macrodon, 1894
* Newfoundland Wolf,Canis lupus beothucus, 1911
* Banks Island Wolf,Canis lupus bernardi, 1920
* Cascade Mountains Wolf,Canis lupus fuscus, 1940


* Passenger Pigeon


* Blue Gill
* Benthic Hadley Lake Stickleback
* Deepwater Cisco, Coregonus johannae, 1952
* Lake Ontario Kiyi, Coregonus kiyi orientalis, 1964
* Limnetic Hadley Lake Stickleback
* Blue Walleye


* Rocky Mountain locust, Melanoplus spretus, 1902


* Eelgrass limpet, Lottia alveus"